TULSA — After 28-years of pastoring at Rose of Sharon Church in Muskogee, it went up in flames.
Pastor Chester Thomas along with the congregation were devastated, but he had a plan.
He opened up his home for service every Sunday morning, now they are raising money to raise the church up once again.
Pastor Chester says since moving the service into his home, it's been tough to get people to come. He says he'll be happy when he can finally get his church back up and running.
The church had been taking in the homeless overnight. While individuals were trying to cook, they accidentally set fire to the back of the church.
His office and the sanctuary were destroyed, but Pastor Chester says he won't give up hope.
"It’s very emotional. I would love to be back in the sanctuary, but instead we are continuing on here", says Thomas, "being obedient to God looking out for the homeless, still continuing to work with them.”
Due to their efforts to help the homeless, they have no financial means to begin rebuilding the church.
He says he's been caring for the homeless for over two decades, and he says they need people who care.
"They need to know that there is someone there that loves them. That there is someone that cares. We will continue to show that love. While we allow the greatest gift that god gave us," Pastor said.
Pastor Chester's Kindness is well known in the community, Claude Marr has known him for 27 years.
"Most pastors just kind of shake your hand and acknowledge you. He actually gets to know you, and that is what I like about him," Marr said.
He says getting the members to come out has been a struggle.
"It's kind of hard, when you ask people to come they expect you know a building. A sanctuary you know. When you have to come to a house they don't really see it as coming to a church," Marr said.
They started a GoFundMe, and are accepting donations with a goal of raising enough money to gut the old building and start building the new church.
For more information or to donate, click here.
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